FAQs on Food Wrapping

Does aluminum foil give foods a metallic taste?

Sometimes.  “This would require direct contact between the foil and a high-acid food,” explains food process engineer Timothy Bowser. 




Timothy J. Bowser, Ph.D., Oklahoma State University, Dept. of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering


General Guidelines for Wrapping Foods


Does exposure to aluminum cause Alzheimer’s disease?

One study reported larger than average amounts of aluminum in the brain tissue of some Alzheimer’s patients, leading to a wave of concern about this.  However, aluminum has also been found in the brain tissue of people who did not have Alzheimer’s.

What are some advantages and disadvantages of aluminum foil?

“Aluminum foil is one of the best barrier films available,” says food process engineer Timothy Bowser. “It is impervious to light, moisture, gases, bacteria, and odors.  There is a problem though—aluminum is easy to tear and poke holes in.  That’s why many commercial food packages include an aluminum layer sandwiched between plastic layers (e.g. juice boxes and chip bags).  The plastic protects the aluminum, allowing it to retain its excellent barrier properties.”


Do coated plastic bags really help produce last longer?

Coated bags (such as the Debbie Meyer Green Bags) can work, depending upon the produce being put into it, explains food scientist Dr. Karin Allen.  “These bags have a clay-like material deposited on them which causes them to absorb ethylene gas. “Whether the bag will work or not depends upon two factors: 1) how much ethylene the produce gives off; and 2) whether the product is responsive to ethylene or not.   If one or both of these conditions is true, then putting it in one of these bags should extend the shelf life (for example, of apples, bananas, and tomatoes).

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